A Captive in the Land

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  • PG
  • 1991
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 5.2  (72)

A Captive in the Land is a dramatic movie from 1990 directed by John Berry, which tells the story of a Canadian professor named John McBride (played by Sam Waterston) who is taken captive by the Soviet secret police in Moscow during the height of the Cold War. The movie starts with McBride's arrival in Moscow accompanied by his teenage son, Jeremy (played by Keir Giles), who is there to study the language and culture of the Soviet Union. One evening, McBride is invited to a dinner party at the home of a Russian friend named Katya (played by Aleksandr Potapov), where he meets a group of dissidents who are openly critical of the Soviet government.

Soon after the dinner party, McBride is taken into custody by the KGB and held for interrogation. The rest of the movie follows McBride as he undergoes a harrowing ordeal of psychological and physical torture designed to break his will and force him to confess to crimes he did not commit.

Throughout his captivity, McBride maintains his dignity and refuses to betray his principles, despite the increasingly brutal tactics used against him. Meanwhile, his son Jeremy struggles to cope with the emotional stress of his father's disappearance and seeks help from various sources, including Katya, who risks her own safety to assist him.

One of the most compelling aspects of A Captive in the Land is its depiction of life in the Soviet Union during the late 1980s, as the country was undergoing profound changes under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. The movie vividly portrays the fear, suspicion, and paranoia that characterized Soviet society at the time, as well as the courage and resilience of those who dared to speak out against the government.

Another notable feature of the film is its strong performances, particularly by Sam Waterston, who convincingly portrays the physical and emotional toll of his character's captivity. Aleksandr Potapov is also excellent as McBride's sympathetic and courageous friend Katya, while Keir Giles delivers a convincing performance as Jeremy, a young man struggling to find his place in an unfamiliar and hostile environment.

Overall, A Captive in the Land is a well-crafted and emotionally affecting movie that offers a powerful glimpse into the oppressive realities of life in the Soviet Union. While it may not be a particularly uplifting or cheerful film, it is one that will leave viewers with a deep appreciation for the preciousness of freedom and the strength of the human spirit.

A Captive in the Land
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.2  (72)